Piroshka: Love Drips and Gathers (Bella Union) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, March 5th, 2024  


Love Drips and Gathers

Bella Union

Aug 17, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

If their debut album Brickbat was driven by a rediscovery of the joy of creating music again, then Piroshkas’s second album, Love Drips and Gathers, is a much more wistful reflective affair. The band was borne out of the embers of the short-lived Lush reunion and is fronted by former Lush vocalist Miki Berenyi, alongside her partner KJ “Moose” McKillop (of Moose), Mike Conroy (of Modern English), and Justin Welch (of Elastica). They return with an album of subtly, nuance, and bold experimentation.

The album opens with the spacey “Hastings 1973,” which combines a gently undulating mellotron and a flugelhorn (via Terry Edwards) with Berenyi’s ethereal dreamlike vocals. Despite the tracks title this isn’t in fact a tribute to the Superintendent of AC12 in the BBC police drama Line of Duty, but is instead a warm nostalgic soundscape that has McKillop wistfully recalling an idyllic seaside trip with his late mother.

Other standout moments include the previous single “Scratching At the Lid,” which despite conjuring up a slightly macabre image with the lyric—“What will you say when they put you in the ground/Scratching at the lid as the box goes down”—could actually be viewed through the lens of carpe diem. There’s certainly the suggestion that one should not be cowed by guilt or doubt but try live life to the full and have no regrets.

“V.O.” is a touching tribute to Vaughn Oliver, the revered graphic designer closely associated with much of Lush’s album artwork and indeed some of 4AD’s most iconic covers, whilst “Wanderlust” reaches back through time to touch fingers with latter-day Lush. The album closes with a beautiful flourish as “Familiar” segues into the propulsive celestial beauty of “We Told You.”

Whilst the album may lack the urgent politically infused rush of Brickbat, it’s a certainly a more considered affair and one that’s comfortable in its own skin. It’s a beautifully textured body of work that merges atonal guitars, spacey synth flourishes, and sophisticated bass lines with layered vocals and is clearly an album informed by the clarity of experience. It’s also an album imbued with the wistful atmosphere of nostalgia and yet also manages to convey an underlying sense of gratitude for being in the present and appreciating what you had, what you still have, and what lies ahead. (www.piroshkaband.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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